UEFA aims to go ahead with 12-nation plan for Euro 2020

According to various reports, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) are still looking to go ahead with the original 12-nation plan for Euro 2020 in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, even if the stadiums are at 25% capacity for the tournament. These rules out reports claiming that a number of the host cities already expressed their refusal to proceed with hosting due to travel restrictions.

The matches of the Euro 2020 were initially scheduled to be held at stadiums in 12 different cities across Europe, namely in London (England), Munich (Germany), Rome (Italy), Baku (Azerbaijan), St. Petersburg (Russia), Bucharest (Romania), Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Dublin (Ireland), Bilbao (Spain), Budapest (Hungary), Glasgow (Scotland) and Copenhagen (Denmark).

The European Championship is just six months away and UEFA have intensified talks with the host nations until they reach theirfinal decision set on March 5. Reports said that the European governing body are “conscious of the need for clarity” for both fans and federations, especially as logistics need to start being arranged. Some have described UEFA as “insistent” that it can work.

UEFA has earlier said it is planning for different scenarios in all of Euro 2020’s host cities. In statement the football body said: “UEFA together with the 12 host cities is currently working on four operational scenarios for UEFA EURO 2020 (full stadium; 50-100% capacity with various mitigation measures; 20-30% capacity with various mitigation measures; and behind closed doors).”

Sources from various reports claim that ninety percent of tickets were sold prior to the pandemic and that only a “minimal” number have been returned for a refund, a logistical problem that UEFA will face as it is certain that Euro 2020 will not be played in front of full stadiums in the 12 host cities across the continent. The best-case scenario is stadiums being no more than 70% full.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin also revealed that there will be “backup options” in case a host country faced a problem. “We are ready to organise competitions in 11, 10 or nine cities… and even only in one country, if necessary. However, I am 99.9% sure that we will have the European Championship in all 12 cities, as planned,” he said. Ceferin has earlier insisted that he’s desperate for full houses.

The host cities have been asked to come up with two to three plans out of those options and it is possible different approaches will be taken in each venue. “A decision on which scenario will be applied individually in each city during the tournament will be made on 5 March, 2021,” UEFA said in a statement. The rescheduled Euro 2020 will take place from June 11 to July 11 in 2021.